Hit shows Fargo, Masters Of Sex and The Big Bang Theory and TV movie The Normal Heart will be the projects to beat at the 2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards after scoring five nominations apiece.
Fargo, which is based on the cult Coen Brothers film of the same name, will compete for Best Mini-Series against shows like American Horror Story: Coven, Luther and Dancing on the Edge, while the dark drama's stars Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton will go head-to-head for Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series, alongside Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: His Last Vow), David Bradley (An Adventure in Space and Time), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing on the Edge). Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman have also earned nods as supporting actors for their roles as local law enforcement officers investigating a spate of grisly murders in Fargo.
Masters of Sex and The Good Wife, which landed four nominations, dominate the drama categories - both shows are up for Best Drama Series, while stars Lizzy Caplan and Julianna Margulies are shortlisted for Best Actress and Caplan's co-star Michael Sheen is up for Best Actor.
The Big Bang Theory looks set to dominate the comedy categories with nods for Best Comedy Series and acting mentions for Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Mayim Bialik and guest star James Earl Jones.
Meanwhile, the TV adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart, which debuted in America on Sunday night (25May14), was also a big hit with members of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, scoring recognition for Best TV Movie and acting accolades for Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer and Joe Mantello. There were also a handful of nominations for True Detective, Orange Is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Americans.
The winners of the fourth annual Critics' Choice Television Awards will be unveiled at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California on 19 June (14).
Actress Tiffany Thornton is a mum again after giving birth to her second child. The former Disney star and her husband Christopher Carney welcomed son Bentley Cash on 1 March (14).
Thornton took to Instagram to post photos of herself cuddling the couple's baby boy and 19-month-old son, Kenneth James, and added the caption, "Ignore the fact that I look terrible but both of my boys are asleep on me in the rocking chair. I couldn't NOT post this!"
She also shared a photo of Kenneth James hugging his little brother, and wrote, "Best friends already."
Thornton and Carney tied the knot during a romantic ceremony in 2011, during which her former Sonny with a Chance co-star, Demi Lovato, served as a bridesmaid.
As the winds of award show nominations pick up, you won't be surprised to find 12 Years a Slave at the top of every list. But the Academy, the Golden Globes, and the various other captains of the circuit are inclined to overlook some of our smaller, more personal favorites in lieu of the big, grand, and wholly unavoidable awardable pictures like Steven McQueen's American slavery epic. That is not to rob 12 Years of Slave of its due credit — the film absolutely deserves as much awards attention as it is getting. It's simply the sort of movie that you know will get awards attention right out of the gate... whereas pictures just as pristine such as Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's Frances Ha, likely won't be the center of attention come Oscar night. But that's what the Independent Spirit Awards are for: to recognize the movies that we cherish with intimacy rather than with grandeur. Among them are Frances Ha, new release Nebraska, Robert Redford's nearly wordless All Is Lost (also a viable candidate for the Academy, due to its own dezzling veneer), the Coen Bros' upcoming Inside Llewyn Davis, and, yes, of course, 12 Years a Slave.
Check out the full list of nods below.
BEST FEATURE 12 Years A Slave All Is Lost Frances Ha Inside Llewyn Davis Nebraska
BEST LEAD FEMALE Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Julie Delpy, Before Midnight Gaby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy Brie Larson, Short Term 12 Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
BEST LEAD MALE Bruce Dern, Nebraska Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Robert Redford, All Is Lost
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale StationSally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave Yolanda Ross, Go For Sisters June Squibb, Nebraska
BEST SUPPORTING MALE Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave Will Forte, Nebraska James Gandolfini, Enough Said Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
BEST DIRECTOR Shane Carruth, Upstream Color J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave Jeff Nichols, Mud Alexander Payne, Nebraska
BEST FIRST FEATUREBlue Caprice Concussion Fruitvale Station Una Noche Wadjda
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD Computer Chess Crystal Fairy Museum Hours Pit Stop This Is Martin Bonner
BEST SCREENPLAY Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater, Before Midnight Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Lake Bell, In A World Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon Bob Nelson, Nebraska Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight Michael Starburry, The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHYSean Bobbitt, 12 Years A Slave Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis Frank G. Demarco, All Is Lost Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
BEST EDITING Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha Cindy Lee, Una Noche Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM A Touch Of Sin Blue Is The Warmest ColorGloriaThe Great Beauty The Hunt
BEST DOCUMENTARYThe Act Of Killing After Tiller Gideon's ArmyThe Square Twenty Feet From Stardom
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARDToby Halbrooks & James M. JohnsonJacob JaffkeAndrea RoaFerderick Thornton
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARDS Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course Jason Osder, Let The Fire Burn Stephanie Spray & Pancho Valez, Manakamana
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARDS Aaron Douglas Johnston, My Sisters' Quinceanera Shaka King, Newlyweeds Madeleine Olnek, The Foxy Merkins
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARDMud
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Disney star Tiffany Thornton is pregnant with her second child. The actress announced the happy news with a cryptic note on her WhoSay account, accompanying a photo of herself and a group of pals.
She wrote, "Guess what?! Hint: why am I holding my stomach?"
The 27-year-old Sonny with a Chance star and her husband of two years, Christopher Carney, welcomed son Kenneth James last year (12).
Miguel, John Grant and country star Hunter Hayes have recorded cover tracks from Elton John's classic album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for a new 40th anniversary tribute album. Promoting his upcoming release, The Diving Board, during a concert at the University of Southern California on Monday (16Sep13), the Rocket Man told students that Hayes had covered the title track.
He said, "He played all the instruments and he blew my mind."
During his set at USC, Elton performed with the USC Thornton School of Music Orchestra conducted by film composer James Newton Howard and he also played five songs from The Diving Board with a student choir and brass ensemble.
Tracks performed included Philadelphia Freedom, Tiny Dancer, Levon, Your Song, Bennie and the Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues and Rocket Man.
When shots rang out on a November morning, the whole world was changed forever. The assassination of John F. Kennedy sent shockwaves throughout the entire country, but the new film Parkland focuses on the select few men and women who saw it happen. The film seems not to be so much about President Kennedy or his life, but more specifically on the unsung men and women who sprung to action after his death.
Parkland showcases, from multiple perspectives, the race to save the President's life, the events of the investigation, and the life of the family of Lee Harvey Oswald. In a cast littered with Hollywood talent, Paul Giamatti plays the man who mistakenly captures the assassination on tape, Tom Welling and Billy Bob Thornton play secret service agents attempting to catch the shooter, and a scruffy Zac Efron plays a doctor tasked with saving the Commander-in-Chief's life.
Open Road Films
The cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden, Jackie Earl Haley, James Badge Dale, and Jacki Weaver. If the trailer is any indication, Parkland looks like the type of meaty historical drama that will have Oscar voters buzzing early next year. At the very least, the film looks to have the 1960's aesthetics nailed right down to the skinny ties and classic cars.
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"We talked about six months ago about a project he had, and he wondered if I would like to be a part of it... He was a very professional guy. When he showed up on the set, he was always prepared. We weren’t like hanging out pals because he lived over in New York and I live here, but we had a great time making that movie... He was a terrific actor." Billy Bob Thornton on his The Man Who Wasn't There co-star James Gandolfini, who died on Wednesday (19Jun13).
Amidst all the TV cancelations, here's some good news to tide you over this weekend: ABC is officially bringing back many of its hit shows for the 2013-2014 season: Nashville, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Suburgatory, Modern Family, The Middle, The Neighbors, Last Man Standing, and Castle.
Rookie series Nashville will return for a second season, bringing with it more country songs and soapy drama with Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. Grey's Anatomy will return for an impressive tenth season with its core cast in tact, as stars Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., and Justin Chambers all signed two-year contracts last year, taking them through Season 10. Scandal, Revenge, Suburgatory, Last Man Standing, and Once Upon a Time will return for a third season each, Modern Family and The Middle will return for a fifth season each, The Neighbors will return for a second season, and Castle will return for a sixth.
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It will be a long while and a massive career overhaul before Michael Bay finds himself exempt of public mockery. The pop culture literate poke fun at the Bad Boys and Transformers franchise director for his egregious explosions, his epileptic editing style, and his moreover lacking story material. But hey, all filmmakers have their follies. And at least Bay knows what his are. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald focusing on his Florida-set crime film Pain & Gain, Bay actually came out and apologized for his critically marred blockbuster Armageddon.
"I will apologize for Armageddon," Bay said in the interview, "because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us."
Apparently, the entire production was a Texas-sized catastrophe. Bay said, "It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine."
Indeed it did — general critical reception aside, the apocalyptic romance ranks as one of the most quintessentially iconic films of the late '90s, launching Ben Affleck's career, and somehow landing among the ranks of the Criterion Collection. Maybe you should reserve your apologies for Transformers 2, Bay.
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